2 charged with capital murder in shooting death of 77-year-old man

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Two men were arrested Sunday on capital murder charges in connection with the shooting death of a 77-year-old man, police said.

Manuel Martinez III, 25, and Rene Garcia, 24, are both facing capital murder charges in the death of Jose Rodriguez. 

Rodriguez was gunned down July 26 while leaving a convenience store in the 400 block of Fair Avenue around 1 a.m. Authorities said Garcia and Martinez attempted to rob Rodriguez but Rodriguez fought back. According to the arrest affidavit, one of the two suspects shot Rodriguez, causing him to fall to the floor. 

Garcia and Martinez ran west on Fair Avenue after shooting Rodriguez, an arrest affidavit states.

Shortly after the shooting, police released photos from gas station surveillance video, which showed the two men approaching Rodriguez's vehicle. While police asked the public for help identifying the two men, officers combed the area of the shooting for homes with surveillance video and found video apparently showing the two men being dropped off down the street from the convenience store before the shooting.

The same vehicle, which authorities described as a beige Mazda 3, was then seen on gas station surveillance video driving past the store, then circling back after the shooting.

From there, police looked into any Mazda vehicles that had been recently stopped by police and found a Mazda matching the description of the vehicle seen in home surveillance video. Authorities then tracked down the owner of the car, who told investigators what led up to the shooting, the warrant states.

According to court documents, the owner of the car told officers that he, Garcia, Martinez and a fourth person were in the car and that they had driven to the gas station to steal a car. The witness said after driving past the Fair Avenue store, they parked down the street and Garcia and Martinez got out of the car, according to the warrant. 

The witness told police they were flagged down by Garcia and Martinez when they circled back, the warrant states. The witness said that when the two men got in the car, he saw they both had guns, court documents note.

It's unclear if more arrests are forthcoming.

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